With the Central Minnesota Tea Party blog flogging anti-Muslim sentiment in a new post, it’s not hard to see the need for the interfaith dialogue that CAIR-MN and partners organizations are hosting from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. Francis Hall, Franciscan Center, in Little Falls.
Bluestem readers may recall tea party activist Lenore Felix from our July 13, 2012 post, Fear of an Agenda 21 Planet: Michele Bachmann flogs UN phobia at Central MN Tea Party meeting:
The St. Cloud Times Mark Sommerhauser reports in Bachmann: U.S. sovereignty at risk to ‘global authority’:
. . . At least one person who attended the tea party meeting, Lenore Felix of Collegeville Township, believes the health care law has its origins with the United Nations. Felix’s question to Bachmann prompted the congresswoman’s comments about the U.N.
Felix, of Collegeville Township, said she believes the health care law was created by an international group that includes the United Nations, George Soros — a billionaire who donates to liberal political groups — and the Environmental Protection Agency. The health care law is part of a bid by those groups to reduce the world’s population, Felix said.
“Everything leads to that conclusion,” Felix said.
The retired Cold Springs woman is still fearing on the United Nations in a new post on the Central Minnesota Tea Party’s blog. In Refugee Resettlement, Felix writes amid a chorus of babble about how refugees are nothing but welfare moochers:
. . . And why do we now take in more Muslims than any other kind of refugee? At one time, we chose the great majority of those brought to our country, but now “up to 95% of the refugees coming to the U. S. were referred by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees or were the relatives of UN-picked refugees.” (Refugee Resettlement Fact Sheet [no link in original]) Why?
And, how is it that Muslims brought here as “refugees” can afford to build a mosque in St. Cloud? For that matter, why does our tax money pay refugee resettlement costs across the country for these Muslims who can then build mosques? Does a single one of them pledge allegiance to our flag?
Muslims building mosques! The next thing you know, Christians will build churches and Jews temples, first thing they get to the western hemisphere. Oh noes!
This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Bluestem Prairie. Check out the links below for other recent Bluestem Prairie stories:
Felix opposes immigration: an LTE to the editors of the St. Cloud Times condemning “traitorous Republican committee chairs” who would support reform was reprinted on the CMTP blog. In another post, she also doesn’t much like marriage equality, which she sees as a homosexual war on religion in which same-sex couples launch “not-so-subtle attempts to mock Christian marriage while forcing the world to see and acknowledge the sodomy they practice.”
Interfaith dialogue: “Tolerance and the Fear of Islam”
It’s easy to see why there’s some pushback on Felix’s attitude–and to an event the Central Minnesota Tea Party hosted earlier this year: ACT! for America Islamophobe Brigitte Gabriel. The St. Cloud Times and the Morrison County Record have both published notice of a December 4 event.
Working off a CAIR-MN press release, the Morrison County Record reports inCAIR-MN to cosponsor ‘Tolerance and Fear of Islam’ interfaith dialogue in Little Falls:
Interfaith leaders and community members will gather in Little Falls, Wednesday, Dec. 4, for a community dialogue on “Tolerance and the Fear of Islam.” Event sponsors include: Little Falls Partners for Peace, Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace, Building Blocks of Islam and the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
The event will be held at St. Francis Hall in the Franciscan Center, 116 Eighth Ave. S.E., from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
“Many individuals in the community have never met a Muslim in person and that allows fear to grow,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow. “This event seeks to promote a positive discussion around tolerance, respect and community. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.’”
Speakers include Saly Abd Alla, CAIR-MN civil rights director; Jaylani Hussein CAIR-MN outreach and advocacy director; Ian Norwood Little Falls Community High School student; and Father Virgil Petermeier, St. Cloud Muslim-Christian Dialogue. The dialogue will be moderated by Jeff Odendahl of the Franciscan Center.
The event was organized after community leaders and activists considered the negative impact a speech by an anti-Muslim speaker had in Little Falls earlier this year. On July 29, the Central Minnesota Tea Party featured anti-Muslim speaker Brigitte Gabriel from the group ACT! For America.
The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Place-baiting: MNGOP organizing and rural/suburban Tea Party divisiveness
Earlier, Bluestem noted how the efforts of the Republican Party of Minnesota, via the Minority Liberty Caucus and other initiatives, are a step in the right direction for the state’s largest conservative party. However, the continued hostility of Minnesota’s tea party chapters in rural and suburban areas–chapters which provide much of the fire for Republican campaigns–seem stuck in xenophobic and Islamophobic beliefs.
All four Republican gubernatorial candidates who took part in the “Outstate Debate” agreed that the role of the Tea Party is positive. Perhaps one of them will step forth with some real leadership and friendly advice that Felix’s brand of conservativism might not be a viable path to victory.